People often don’t understand the difficulty in managing someone else’s life unless they’ve had to do it. Taking the financial reins of another’s life arises when someone dies, or becomes impaired and loses the ability to manage on his/her own. Oftentimes, as people age, they simplify their lives. But sometimes they don’t, and you can inherit a mess.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 42% of us have a relative assume some or all responsibility for a family member who has diminished financial capacity. In order to take over the reins for someone while they’re alive, you’ll need a Durable Power of Attorney, best executed with a lawyer, to appoint you as an agent. If a person loses capacity and has no power of attorney in place, a court appointed guardian or conservator is often the solution. This is a costly and unnecessary alternative, that often can be avoided with a durable power of attorney.
If you fail to plan, things will get more complicated. Real Life Legal TM includes three books in its series, which can help: What to Do When Someone Dies, Elder Law – Legal Planning for Seniors and Estate Planning – A Road Map for Beginners. At Real Life Legal TM we want you to be prepared!